Commute and Big Law

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Madmen321

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Commute and Big Law

Postby Madmen321 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:11 pm

Here is my situation. Would greatly appreciate any advice.

My parents own an investment property about 45 min away from my big law (non-NY) office in the suburbs. I could live there rent free and only pay for utilities etc and save a large chunk of change (average 1 bedroom probably costs around 2k a month). How bad would this commute be on a daily basis? I have heard from multiple people that living within walking distance of the firm is a huge plus, so I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons. My main concern is that the commute might increase chances of earlier burn out...

Other factors:
No debt
Commute is about 45-50 min by train door to door and about 40 min by car.
Wife needs car to commute to work, so I would have to pay for parking in city in addition to rent

Thanks for your input!

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Roy McAvoy

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby Roy McAvoy » Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:47 pm

Little different situation, but my 1L summer I worked in my hometown (large southern market) and lived with my parents to save rent. This meant I had about a 45 minute commute and hour at night. I know this isn't exactly your situation, but it's reasonably close. Having a commute like that is definitely a pain in the ass, but 45 minutes is not unmanageable and a lot better than some people will have. I usually just came in a little early to miss more traffic and would stay a little late or grab a beer with someone after work to miss traffic. In my opinion it was definitely worth not paying rent on another place for two months, but YMMV. Just find a podcast or book you enjoy listening to during the commute.

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:52 pm

This is shrewd. I work in NY biglaw and have a 30 minute commute by train. An additional 30 minutes for no rent would be worth it. Chances are, if you're working in a non-New York market, your hours will be less brutal and while you'll be tired, it'll probably be bearable while you stack cash (and hopefully get out sooner rather than later).

dabigchina

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby dabigchina » Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:38 pm

Madmen321 wrote:Here is my situation. Would greatly appreciate any advice.

My parents own an investment property about 45 min away from my big law (non-NY) office in the suburbs. I could live there rent free and only pay for utilities etc and save a large chunk of change (average 1 bedroom probably costs around 2k a month). How bad would this commute be on a daily basis? I have heard from multiple people that living within walking distance of the firm is a huge plus, so I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons. My main concern is that the commute might increase chances of earlier burn out...

Other factors:
No debt
Commute is about 45-50 min by train door to door and about 40 min by car.
Wife needs car to commute to work, so I would have to pay for parking in city in addition to rent

Thanks for your input!


I would do it in a heartbeat

lavarman84

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby lavarman84 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:51 pm

I had a 45 minute commute this summer for my firm job. In the beginning, it sucked. But I got used to it. Just means waking up later and having less free time. But it's not a huge deal. Definitely more convenient to live close, but saving on rent is worth it.

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:55 am

Commutes suck because its essentially dead time.. All you can do is listen to music/podcast. Living close to work means much shorter work days, more free time, less misery.

Edit: you can always just try the commute for a while. Since it's your parent's place, I assume they don't care if you stopped living there after a month or two. Test it out, and if it sucks commuting, lease an apartment near the office. It's not like you can't switch after you start working

run26.2

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby run26.2 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:03 am

Not sure why someone would say commute is dead time. Outside of NYC, getting on trains this far out generally means you can get a seat, which means you can work. If you are able to do work in that type of environment, you actually don't lose that much time owing to the addition of the commute. And it is better than driving because you can actually work while commuting.

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:10 am

Take the train and bill an extra hour cumulatively a day. After a few months, if it sucks, rent in the city next to your firm.

Big Red

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby Big Red » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:34 am

I can't speak to biglaw, but I've done commutes between 15-45 each way and you'd be surprised how big a different that hour can make. People have also pointed out that not all commutes, even of same time, are the same, sitting train probably being the best. Driving through rush hour traffic can also be a major stress source though if you work late enough you can miss it one-way.

it's a personal preference thing, and "trying it out" might be a good idea although I would think about the pain/inertia of moving stuff and wife

RaceJudicata

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby RaceJudicata » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:38 am

I'd do the commute during rush hour (both ways) at least once. It may be an hour on Google Maps, but in reality it may be significantly longer. I have no doubt the actual train ride is an hour, but that does not factor in how long it takes to get from office-->train, how long you have to wait on the tracks, how much time is in between trains if you miss yours, etc.

Madmen321

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby Madmen321 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:56 am

Thanks everyone for your comments. I really appreciate it. I actually lived in my parents house during my SA. Commute was annoying, no doubt, but never took longer than 1 hour door to door. Of course, during my SA I never had to stay past 7 so that is obviously not representative of what real life will be like... It seems like the general consensus is that the commute is worth it given the savings.

BigZuck

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby BigZuck » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:08 am

I wouldn't do it

dixiecupdrinking

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:50 am

No reason not to give it a shot, at least.

1styearlateral

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby 1styearlateral » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:20 pm

lol 45 min. It takes me 45-hour sometimes to get to work and I live 2.5 miles from the office (traffic going into the tunnel). Save your money.

BigZuck

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby BigZuck » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:50 pm

Life is too short to work 11 hour days and spend 1.5-2 hours in traffic you silly geese

dixiecupdrinking

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:19 pm

BigZuck wrote:Life is too short to work 11 hour days and spend 1.5-2 hours in traffic you silly geese

Life's too short for any of this and yet here we are

1styearlateral

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby 1styearlateral » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:20 pm

BigZuck wrote:Life is too short to work 11 hour days and spend 1.5-2 hours in traffic you silly geese


For me, 2 hours is too much. If you can manage to make your commute an hour or less, you're in good shape, especially if you can save a couple hundred/thousand dollars per month.

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BaiAilian2013

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:03 pm

I don't think 45 minutes is bad. Also, once you build up some credibility, you can shift your schedule a little to avoid rush hour. There is MAJOR rush hour traffic between me and my office, so I basically get to the office either before 7 or after 10. That's one of the perks of this job. If I worked my assistant's hours, I might work less, but I could never live where I live.

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:00 pm

I'm in a similarish boat.

I have a NYC SA lined up and I currently live with my gf in an apt. she owns in BK while I attend school in NYC area. The commute is usually about 50-60 mins door to door. But it's the difference between helping her pay her mortgage (costs me maybe $750 a month) and my share of the rent in a NYC apt. (would be double that and would not be building equity in anything).

I did it over the summer and didn't really mind it too much at all. Since I do it for school anyway I am used to it. I often get a seat and can relax/do work if I need to.

Most associates told me it's fine over the summer because you don't have any responsibilities but once I start as a full-time associate I should strongly consider moving. I have considered it but think I am definitely going to try to stay in my current apt. as long as I can take it knowing I can always move later on if the commute becomes too difficult.

Not sure how your firm/market works but in NYC law starts late so it's not like I need to wake up super early to be at the office and if I stay late I can get a cab home which shortens my commute anyway. But truthfully you just can't beat the extra money.

Your case is even stronger because I assume the money difference is larger given no rent vs. full rent whereas mine I still am paying half of what I would be paying if I lived closer. So I agree with all the people who say at least try it.

Also young people in general seem to have a warped perception on commutes. It's true having a short commute is important to many and studies show it is correlated to happiness, but an hour commute is super super standard for people with spouses and families since they move to the burbs and still commute into the city for work. Unless you become super rich or stay single forever, chances are likely that you will have a commute like the one you're contemplating at some point anyway and will consider it short when compared to many of your adult friends who commute longer.

Magic Hat

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby Magic Hat » Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:44 pm

If you are a first year it might suck. If you've been there awhile and have enough 'street cred' that you can build flexibility into your schedule it can be awesome.

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los blancos

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby los blancos » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:51 am

I commute 2 hours total every day. i think I'd want to tear my hair out if it involved driving, but having it be a mostly train commute makes a world of difference.

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:09 pm

Mid-level associate in Manhattan biglaw here, corporate practice group. My commute ranges from 45-75 minutes or so each way depending on traffic (usually no longer than 2 hours a day), been doing it for over 2 years now. I take a combination of the bus and subway/walking. After a year or so I really memorized all of the schedules and different timing things. I also found a bunch of podcasts to listen to, and am able to answer emails or calls on way in to office. As mentioned above, once you gain some trust, no one is really after you unless you are on a closing or something else pressing where you "have to" be in the office. So shifting your schedule around or working from home on particularly bad commuting days etc. is fine so long as you bill enough and turn in reliably good work product in a timely manner. Extra planning ahead and lots of communication is key as well. For me, it is well worth it to save the 6k+ on NYC taxes and to live in a way bigger place for way cheaper in a very nice suburb. It can definitely be a tough adjustment but in my experience after 12-15 months it becomes second nature.

Phil Brooks

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby Phil Brooks » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:25 pm

I mean, personal question, but wouldn't it bother you and your wife to still be living off of parents as adults? Not to mention with your high income.

1styearlateral

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby 1styearlateral » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:30 pm

Phil Brooks wrote:I mean, personal question, but wouldn't it bother you and your wife to still be living off of parents as adults? Not to mention with your high income.

Dem fat stacks doe.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Commute and Big Law

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:15 pm

Phil Brooks wrote:I mean, personal question, but wouldn't it bother you and your wife to still be living off of parents as adults? Not to mention with your high income.

If my parents had the place and offered it to me, and I knew it wouldn't be a hardship for them, I'd totally do it. Especially if I had student loan debt. If they needed the money that would be different (but I presume then they wouldn't offer).



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